What History Wants You to Know About His Baseball Documentary ‘After Jackie’

The story examines the lives and careers of black Major League Baseball players coming on the heels of Jackie Robinson’s historic league integration in a new documentary, After Jackyfrom June 18.

The documentary delves into the often overlooked history of the second wave of black baseball players entering the major leagues after Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Players such as Bill White, Curt Flood and Bob Gibson took over where Robinson left off to challenge the league. to move toward greater roster integration, as well as advance the status of black baseball players on and off the field, according to History.

The documentary, produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Stanley Nelson with LeBron James and Maverick Carter, features rare interviews with White and Gibson, as well as current and former baseball stars including Mookie Betts, CC Sabathia, Ken Griffey Jr. and Joe Torre.

In an edition Multichannel news interview with Nelson, here’s what he and History want you to know After Jacky.

After Jacky look at how Robinson’s integration of baseball often overshadowed the black players behind him: “There’s been a lot of talk about Jackie Robinson, but nothing really has been done about the group of baseball players that came right after Jackie. As incredible as Jackie Robinson is and what he’s been through, the generation right behind Jackie didn’t’ I didn’t have the scrutiny, the press didn’t follow them and I didn’t have that level of attention so I thought it was a chance to make a movie that really focuses on something that most people don’t think about.

Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson, executive producer of “After Jackie” (Image credit: History)

Jackie Robinson has both helped and hurt the black baseball stars who followed him: “It made it harder for them to get into baseball. Bill White told us how he was in the minor leagues and he was the only black guy there, but he got no attention and no reporters followed him. … he was basically on his own. So in some ways that made their lives difficult. It was amazing that they persevered, but I think it also helped their careers both during their playing days and after the game. baseball, because a lot of them have continued to do great things.”

After Jacky reveals startling facts about black baseball players on and off the field: “One of the facts that really surprised me was that African Americans were part of professional baseball in the 1890s, but they were shut out of the major leagues by white players. So for the 50 years There haven’t been any African-American players in professional baseball, and I don’t think I really understood how much of a part Jackie was in the civil rights movement after his playing days ended. “

After Jacky hopes to expose a new generation of baseball fans to the unheralded players who came after Robinson: “We’re looking to reach both sets of fans. The trick to making a movie like this is attracting people like me who know a little about baseball, as well as people who don’t know anything about the story. We have modern African-American baseball stars, including Mookie Betts, Ken Griffey Jr. and CC Sabathia, who appeal to baseball fans today.”■

Also: Byron Allen’s HBCU Go Marks June 19 With Two Documentaries

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